When Assassin’s Creed multiplier was first introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the mode quickly became a go-to experience for players who had become disenfranchised by shooter-heavy online game offerings. Game critics (read our Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood review) praised the cat and mouse approach of the multiplayer feature – which favored stealth and patience over run-and-gun shooting. The mode continued to present players with a solid experience in the next Assassin’s Creed installment, Revelations, but Ubisoft didn’t iterate on the idea very much – including only minor gameplay additions, customization options, and mechanics.
However, players who enjoy the multiplayer offering will be glad to know that Ubisoft is readying several new and improved game modes for the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed 3 - including a 4 vs. 4 territory mode, Domination, as well as a 2-4 player timed co-op challenge, Wolfpack.
The multiplayer modes are still riffs on standard online experiences – with most prior efforts (Wanted, Manhunt, etc) offering variations on Deathmatch-like match-ups (i.e. kill more than you are killed). However, instead of all-out free-for-alls, players are assigned targets (either individual players or an entire team) – stalking, hiding, and hunting in order to secure a win.
Similarly, the new Assassin’s Creed 3 modes should also be somewhat familiar to veteran online players – albeit with their own Abstergo twists.
Domination - Offers a relatively standard capture and control experience. Where four player teams must secure and defend various territories on a given map for points. Like the Borgia and Templar Towers in the last two single player experiences, the Domination mode will allow for a variety of approaches (stealth, outright assault, etc) – in order to secure enemy-held areas. The added utility of three other players to join in the assault will provide even more room for analyzing a stronghold and strategizing a successful (and fun) approach. Of course, teams shouldn’t spend too much time on a single area – as leaving their own territories unguarded will, no doubt, leave them especially vulnerable to competing attack.
Wolfpack – Should help scratch that Assassin’s Creed co-op versus AI itch. For the last few years, players have been hoping for a true Assassin’s Creed co-op experience, where they could recruit actual players to join in Tower raids and attacks on Templar strongholds. The idea is, without question, compelling, imagine: One player walks into an enemy-held area to meet with a contact – while another player, on the roof above, snipes any enemies on the ground who become increasingly suspicious. While we’re still going to have to wait awhile for a single-player co-op experience, Wolfpack is set to provide the first step in co-op versus AI action – as up to four players can hunt assassination targets together. The mode is timed – meaning it’s unlikely there will be a lot of room for in-depth collaborative strategizing – but it should still be plenty of fun to run around an American Revolution city taking down targets together.
The Assassin’s Creed 3 multiplayer will also provide plenty of series staples – returning game modes, improved customization, etc. and expect the supplemental feature to, once again, enjoy a lot of paid DLC content following the initial October 30th release.
PC fans can also breathe a sigh of relief now – as an official release date has been announced for the non-console version. For some time, it was unclear exactly how long PC player might have to wait for the highly-anticipated game but Ubisoft has now confirmed that the title will launch on November 20th, three weeks after the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. A final Wii U release date has yet to be announced; though, expect the game to launch alongside Nintendo’s new system – reportedly the weekend of Black Friday in the U.S. (November 23rd).
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Assassin’s Creed 3 releases on October 30, 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, November 20, 2012 for PC players, along with an undisclosed Wii U launch to follow shortly after.